Clear The Shelters

Science Explains Why Dog Really Is Man’s (and Woman’s) Best Friend

Clear The Shelters

Clear The Shelters

WBRE-TV joins NBCUniversal owned television stations Clear the Shelters™ pet adoption campaign for the entire month of August

WBRE-TV along with animal shelters and rescues from Northeast & Central Pennsylvania will host the popular month-long event in August for local communities’ organizations will offer low cost or waived adoption fees

WBRE-TV today has joined NBCUniversal Owned Television Stations’ Clear the Shelters™ nationwide pet adoption campaign. Launching August 1st and culminating with Clear The Shelters Day Friday, August 28th, the pet adoption drive will include the participation of local animal shelters/rescues. On August 28, participating organizations will offer low cost or waived pet adoption fees to help families adopt a pet.

Eyewitness News and NBC Universal have partnered to produce a 60-minute special highlighting the importance of finding forever homes for shelter animals. The first half hour of the special NBC’s “Clear The Shelters” will run at 7:00PM will spotlight the amazing adoptive families, unsung heroes who work at the shelters and of course, adorable pets who are being welcomed into new homes.

The second half hour WBRE-TV’s “Finding a Forever Home” at 7:30PM will be hosted by Eyewitness News morning anchors, Chris Langlois and Kelly Byrne and will highlight the efforts here in Northeast and Central Pennsylvania to find homes for animals.

From older dogs to kittens to rabbits to birds, NBCUniversal Owned Television Stations’ Clear The Shelters campaign has inspired local communities to take action and open their homes to pets in need. Since 2015, more than 411,292 pets have been adopted.

For more information, visit You can also follow the effort on Twitter @Clear The Shelter, and on social media using the hashtags #ClearTheShelters and #DesocuparLosAlbergues.

Clear The Shelters: Local Animal Shelters

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It’s no secret that the bond between a human and their pet can be a powerful one. Scientists say dogs have likely been “man’s best friend” for thousands of years. But beyond an endless supply of slobbery kisses and games of fetch, what about spending time with our dogs makes us so happy and calm? 

“One of the main mental health benefits of having a pet is companionship,” Lois Krahn, Professor of Psychiatry at Mayo Clinic in Arizona, told NBCLX.

Krahn said something as simple as petting your dog releases a chemical in your brain that makes you feel safe.

“When a human pets an animal, a dog or a cat, the brain releases Oxytocin, which is a chemical that is kind of a nesting, care taking chemical that can enhance our sense of well-being,” Krahn explained. “There’s been research shown that people who spend time caring for their companion animals can be more relaxed. And that is evidenced because they may have better control of blood pressure with fewer blood pressure spikes.”

Krahn, who is a specialist in sleep medicine, also said pet owners may have slower heart rate and a degree of muscle relaxation that non-pet owners may not.

At the end of a long day, some pets can even help their humans sleep better.

“Sleep issues could potentially improve due to the presence of a companion animal,” said Dr. Krahn, “This is based on several assumptions; that the animal is mature and happy, the animal is a reasonable size, not overly large, but having a companion animal nearby at night can help combat the feeling of being alone or being lonely because the animals there and the person is not truly alone,” Dr. Krahn said.

Even though our dogs can’t track time, they can also help create healthy routines in their humans’ lives.

“They know when it’s time to eat, they know when it’s time to go out, and they can be fairly structured and then help create more structure for their owner. People who are dog owners who take their dogs for walks tend to be in better physical shape.”

In a time of social distancing, and with more and more of our personal and professional interactions moving online, having a furry friend could go a long way.

I believe that a pandemic is a major challenge to mental health because there are so many changes. We are social beings, so keeping distance from other people for the sake of preventing illness is very hard. Some people who live alone have been by themselves for weeks and weeks. At this point, also there’s so much uncertainty about jobs, the economy, and financial security. That’s a huge source of worry for many of us.”

Pets are a big responsibility, and they certainly can’t solve all of your problems. Keeping a healthy mind and body takes work. But going through it with a pet who loves you unconditionally can really help along the way. 

Correction: Due to an editing error the chemical Oxytocin was originally misidentified. We apologize for this error.

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